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So I found this old turntable in my basement...

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
It's a Hitachi HT-40S Direct-drive turntable.

Is it any good? I see that where there should be a cartridge, there is some wires. I assume i could get a replacement? Also, it has RCA's coming out of the back, but I am unsure how to connect it to anything. Does it need a phono stage? (and on that note, what is a phono stage?)
post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgonino View Post
It's a Hitachi HT-40S Direct-drive turntable.

Is it any good? I see that where there should be a cartridge, there is some wires. I assume i could get a replacement? Also, it has RCA's coming out of the back, but I am unsure how to connect it to anything. Does it need a phono stage? (and on that note, what is a phono stage?)
Can you take some pics?

The wires are the lead wires that connect to the cartridge. Each of the four colors has a specific place it connects to on the cartridge. I'm assuming you have a headshell on the tonearm already.

A turntable cartridge puts out a very weak signal, so a phono stage is basically an amp that boosts the signal to line stage output. That's a very simplistic definition, but will suffice for our needs here. Some preamps and integrated amps have a built in phono stage. If you don't own one of those you'll need to buy a phono stage.

If you look on the back or bottom of the TT there should also be a ground wire, or a place to attach a ground wire. It's usually bundled in the phono (RCA) cables coming out of the TT. That ground wire will connect to the phono stage as well. If your TT has RCA jacks instead of RCA cables, then it might have only a screw or knurled nut to attach a ground wire to.

There is a lot to learn before setting a record on the table and playing it, but there are some good people to reference here, memepool is a great example.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 







Here are some pictures.

I looked at the RCA's, and there is indeed a green grounding wire coming out of the back as well. Looks like a need a phono stage; where can I get one on the cheap? (old receiver perhaps?)
post #4 of 14
Since you have such a nice amp, I would probably go with a phono preamp. If you look around audiogon you can easiliy find one for <$100 (there is an assembled Bugle FS right now) or if you want to go even cheaper, Radioshack sells a cheap phono pre.
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgonino View Post
It's a Hitachi HT-40S Direct-drive turntable. (...)
Alright...

> Is it any good?

Well, that depends on the condition as well as your point of view, expectations et cetera. But in short: If you're striving for high-end, this most probably wouldn't be the right table to start with. However, if you just want a decent entry-level turntable for a proper start into the world of vinyl, this typical 80s semi-automatic direct-drive model will do the job just fine...

> I see that where there should be a cartridge, there is some wires. I assume i could get a replacement?

What your HT-40S should have is a headshell for standard half-inch-mount cartridges with four wires with little connectors that will fit onto the corresponding four output pins of the cartridge - usually colour coded in red & green and white & blue (for right channel signal & ground and left channel signal & ground).

So, yes, provided that nobody has ripped off that headshell, you can mount a pretty wide choice of cartridges. Half-decent moving-magnet cartridges (MMs ) that would fit start at ~ US$ 30, but I'd rather recommend to invest a little more for something like an Audio Technica AT120E or Shure M97xE, which both should work well with the supposedly light to medium-heavy arm. However, I wouldn't recommend to go higher than ~ US$ 150...

>Also, it has RCA's coming out of the back, but I am unsure how to connect it to anything. Does it need a phono stage? (and on that note, what is a phono stage?)

Well, yes, as swt61 already mentioned, you'll need to plug those RCAs into a phono stage, either a seperate one or one that's integrated into an amp/receiver/soundcard/whatever... And there also should be another wire with a little spade connector that you should connect to the phono ground screw of the phono stage.

And to elaborate further on the phono stage functions, besides amplifying the phono signal up to line-level, the phono stage also provides re-equalisation of the signal: In order to make it possible/easier for the needle to follow the groove modulations and to achieve longer play-time, the original signal goes through a filter, which basically boosts the treble and reduces the bass (if you want more details, google for "RIAA curve"), before it goes to the cutting head. So, for playback, the phono stage also needs to apply the mirror-image of that filter in order to re-linearise the frequency response.

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgonino View Post
It's a Hitachi HT-40S Direct-drive turntable.

Does it need a phono stage? (and on that note, what is a phono stage?)
A phono stage is a pre-amplifier with a built in equalization circuit. The output of a cartridge is measured in mV or less. The standard line level input expects 1V to 2V. Also when a record is produced some frequencies are attenuated and others emphasised. This is often referred to as the RIAA equalization after Recording Industry Association of America, when the LP is played back the inverse equalization has to be applied that is done in the phono stage.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jgonino View Post
Looks like a need a phono stage; where can I get one on the cheap? (old receiver perhaps?)
Define cheap, there are plenty of old Amps and Receivers on eBay, I have bought a few varying from £10 to £50. The only problem with old amps and receivers is that quite often they have problems such as noisy volume switches and so on.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
I should also mention that I am not going to be using this with my headphone setup. The only records I have are my dad's, and he listens to "geezer" music.

I am going to have this hooked up to a pair of computer speakers, so I think something with a amp might be better.
post #8 of 14
Then yeah, an integrated amp would probably be the way to go.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ok, so I think I found a receiver with a phono stage, so all I need now is a new catridge. I really just need a $30 dollar one, so can anyone reccomend one that will fit?
post #10 of 14
Audio Technika AT91

Goldring Elan

Dont spend anymore money than these on this TT.

This was the entry level Hitachi TT from about 1979/80/81 in the UK. Direct rive with the motor under the platter. Very lightweight molded plastic body is quite prone to picking up vibrations from loudspeakers.

Originally shipped with a Hitachi branded cart of value less than $20.

edit, I still have the Tuner, Cassette player and 60 watt MOS FET integrated amp from the same series as this TT, but a couple of steps up the food chain.
post #11 of 14
Sumiko Oyster would be a good bet.

I see that your head shell is detachable. This will make the mounting of your cartridge much less awkward as you can fuss with connecting the small lead wires and securing the cartridge body to the head shell with both parts in your hands.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethebull View Post
I see that your head shell is detachable. This will make the mounting of your cartridge much less awkward as you can fuss with connecting the small lead wires and securing the cartridge body to the head shell with both parts in your hands.
Absolutely! I don't understand why detachable headshells are so unpopular these days. My Dynavector DV507mk2 has an old school bayonet headshell and it makes attaching the wires and cartridge a breeze. No bending over for five minutes as you keep dropping the screws...
post #13 of 14

Spinnin' the Black Circle

Yes, the Hitachi HT-40S turntable is the longest lasting piece of stereophonic equipment I own, which is just now surpassing it's 28th year without a single repair!

You found a good one.

The tone arm should have a detachable head, easily removeable with the turn of a small plastic screw where the tone arm meets the cartridge shell housing. Bolted to the underside of the cartridge shell housing is the cartridge itself, which in turn holds the needle. If you see wires hanging out of the tone arm, it seems to me that there is no cartridge present, but also that the cartridge shell housing is present. (If you don't see two black pieces to the complete tone arm, you need to get the detachable head, and that's an additional issue you need to address.)

But assuming that the detachable head is there...

You would then need to purchase a kit containing both the cartridge and a matched needle. You then match the color coded wires together. There are 4 terminals (red, green, blue and white). Plug them in to the corresponding colored terminals. Screw the cartridge to the shell housing, take the plastic needle cover off and you ready to rock!

Plug the RCA jacks into the left (white) and right (red) 1/4" ports for phono on the receiver and connect the thin green wire to the ground terminal also found on the back of the receiver. Then, plug in the power supply cord.

Keep it clean, should last a lifetime! Good Luck!

Greg




Quote:
Originally Posted by jgonino View Post
It's a Hitachi HT-40S Direct-drive turntable.

Is it any good? I see that where there should be a cartridge, there is some wires. I assume i could get a replacement? Also, it has RCA's coming out of the back, but I am unsure how to connect it to anything. Does it need a phono stage? (and on that note, what is a phono stage?)
post #14 of 14
well, i also just found an old turntable in my garage too! Decided to go with the ortofon 5e cartridge if that's any help to you. Its the best bang for your buck in my opinion. There's a jlti phonostage on audiogon too. jlti is a sydney (australia) based company where joe resmussen makes EVERY thing by hand. My mate's got his preamp and phonostage and it is worth every cent.
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